London Youth Games 2010 – Medal rush in Hackney

Hackney s young sports stars have been celebrating after upping their game to finish in 23rd place out of 33 teams at this year’s London Youth Games.

More than 300 young people from Hackney have been competing in 24 team and individual sports since January, culminating in the finals at Crystal Palace over the weekend of 3 and 4 July where they were cheered on by local supporters including the Speaker of Hackney Cllr Sally Mulready.

Hackney’s tally of medals saw the borough’s team ranking rise two places on last year from 25th to 23rd, equalling Hackney’s highest ever position for the Games.

The group’s outstanding performances were rewarded with team medals in a number of events including girls basketball; boys football; kayak sprint, boys and girls handball; and adapted indoor rowing. There were also 25 individual medals across disability athletics, five for the kayak sprint, and individual medals for indoor rowing and disability swimming.

Standout medal winners were the weightlifting and cycling teams, who both finished first place in London. This is the second year in a row that the cycling team has come first in their event.

Cllr Jonathan McShane, Hackney Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “Well done to the young people who have participated and all those who have put so much effort into the preparation and the actual events. Praise also to Hackney’s Leisure and Physical Activity Team who work with local schools and organisations to coordinate everyone involved.”

The young people’s achievements will be recognised locally at the annual Hackney Youth Sports Awards event on the 3rd November at Hackney Empire.

London Youth Games is the largest annual youth sports festival in Europe for six to 17 year olds. Past events have fielded some of the UK’s best known sportspeople including Christine Ohuruogu, Steve Backley, Ledley King and tennis player Anne Keothavong from Hackney.

Cllr McShane added: “The Games are open to young people of all abilities, and I’d encourage more children to consider taking part in next year’s event.”

Hackney s Leisure and Physical Activity Team is already recruiting for next year s Hackney Youth Games, if you would like more information please contact them on 020 8356 2230.